Lessons for Democrats from the RNC

RNC 2016The most important takeaway is that the GOP is now Donald Trump’s party. This may seem minor, but it’s critical to understanding what will be necessary for the upcoming general election cycle: the rules are different.

You may have noticed that the mainstream media referred to the Republican National Convention as “Donald Trump’s Convention” instead of “The Republican Convention” or “The RNC Convention.” Next week is not “Hillary Clinton’s Convention” — it is “The Democratic National Convention.” No convention has ever before been personalized this way. The importance relates to how the cycle will be covered, and intimates that Donald will continue to be covered differently from anyone ever.

Note that the first night of the convention, while the mother of a soldier lost in Benghazi was speaking, Donald called into Fox, and they preempted her speech to speak with him.

Zachary Taylor, People's Candidate for President and Millard Fillmore, Whig Candidate for Vice-President (N. Currier, June 1848)

Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, Whig Candidates for for President and Vice President, respectively. (N. Currier, June 1848)

A cautionary tale for the party comes from more than 150 years ago. Read about Zachary Taylor. Seriously, read the link. Read it now. It’s really important.

Welcome back. Now you know the future.

Plagiarism is not a big deal to the Trump campaign.

I don’t blame Melania. She read off a teleprompter. She’s likely done very little, if any, public speaking and thus the speechwriters had nothing to work from relative to inclusions or tone.

But they could have Googled the speech, line by line, to check it. Plagiarism will get you tossed out of school: it’s a big deal. Intellectual property still matters.

The campaign is too green, too unprofessional to know any better. Then they spent 38 hours being unable to answer properly to the problem. Finally, they blamed an employee of the Trump organization.

If she was the one who wrote the speech, and she did it on company time, that’s an FEC violation. Campaigns cannot commingle monies or paid personnel between a company and the campaign, nor political offices and the campaign.

Speaking of breaking laws…

New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro said in an interview that Hillary Clinton “should be put on the firing line and shot for treason.” The Secret Service is investigating. Baldasaro is a veterans’ adviser to Donald, who in no way distanced himself from the quote.

There was a lot of Hillary bashing at the RNC, and very little “Donald-is-good-because-XYZ” (except from his kids!!!) or “I support Donald because he stands for ABC.” The crowd in the arena, who are his voters, loved it.  Going forward, this means they’re for him, not his positions, nor his actions. It doesn’t matter to them, which makes our job that much harder.

Ted Cruz isn’t coming around.

Ted Cruz spoke, didn’t endorse, and was booed. More importantly, Ken Cuccinelli had to walk Heidi Cruz off the floor because she was in danger of being physically assaulted. Shows you what kind of people are Trump supporters.

Only 23 people were arrested.

There are 5,500 law enforcement types around the convention, but only 23 people were arrested. This compares to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia where over 300 people were arrested. This is probably due to the huge security area around the arena keeping people far away from cameras.

What does this all mean?

First, the Democrats are not running against the Republicans; they are running against Zachary Taylor, and that didn’t work well for the good guys. (Except Millard Fillmore, who was a terrible president, but great in many other regards.)

It means every Jill Stein defection is a vote for Donald Trump.

It means they need to campaign differently up and down the ballot.

It means “I’m too busy” is not a valid excuse this September, October and November.

It means someone with no interest in running the country will end up running the country after having campaigned on no platform other than banning Muslims and building a wall.

Ted Cruz Addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition

— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was among the 13 Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz mentioned his bi-partisan outreach to Democrats in foreign affairs. We urges us to speak the truth about Radical Islam, since “the truth has power.” To borrow a page from Ronald Reagan’s strategy in the cold war, he says “our strategy should be very simply: we win, they lose.” He emphasized we are at war with Islamic Terror and the United States has to stand with Israel. Accordingly, Cruz wants to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and take steps to combat the boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

Cruz made it clear that the United States must go after terrorists. He also wants to rip up the Iran nuclear deal and force an end to the Iranian nuclear program.

During the question and answer period, Cruz was asked about abortion. He replied that to win the Republicans must run as fiscal, foreign policy and social conservatives and that if Republicans nominate a moderate, the coalition necessary to win won’t exist.

Speeches by the other Republican presidential candidates is available in our full coverage of the RJC presidential forum.

GOP Presidential Candidates Blast Iran Deal in Primetime Debate

Ten Republican presidential candidates participated in Fox News’s primetime debate:

  • businessman Donald Trump,
  • former Florida Governor Jeb Bush,
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker,
  • former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee,
  • neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson,
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz,
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio,
  • Kentucky Senator Rand Paul,
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and
  • Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Walker said that if the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, negotiated by the Obama administration and pending congress review, is signed and he is elected president, he will cancel it immediately:

I still remember, as a kid, tying a yellow ribbon around a tree in front of my house during the 444 days that Iran held 52 Americans hostage. Iran is not a place we should be doing business with.

To me, you terminate the deal on day one, you reinstate the sanctions authorized by Congress, you go to Congress and put in place even more crippling sanctions in place, and then you convince our allies to do the same.

This is not just bad with Iran, this is bad with ISIS. It is tied together, and, once and for all, we need a leader who’s gonna stand up and do something about it.

Paul criticized the agreement as well, mentioning former President Ronald Reagan as an example for a better approach:

I’m a Reagan conservative. Reagan did negotiate with the Soviets. But you have to negotiate from a position of strength, and I think President Obama gave away too much, too early.

If there’s going to be a negotiation, you’re going to have to believe somehow that the Iranians are going to comply. I asked this question to John Kerry, I said “do you believe they’re trustworthy?” and he said “No.”

And I said, “well, how are we gonna get them to comply?” I would have never released the sanctions before there was consistent evidence of compliance.

Huckabee mentioned Reagan as well:

Ronald Reagan said “trust, but verify.” President Obama is “trust, but vilify.” He trusts our enemies and vilifies everyone who disagrees with him. And the reason we disagree with him has nothing to do with party. It has to do with the incredibly dangerous place that this world is gonna be as a result of a deal in which we got nothing.

We didn’t even get four hostages out. We got nothing, and Iran gets everything they want. We said we would have anywhere, anytime negotiations and inspections, we gave that up. We said that we would make sure that they didn’t have any nuclear capacity, we gave that up.

The president can’t tell you what we got. I’ll tell you what the world got. The world has a burgeoning nuclear power that didn’t, as the Soviets, say “we might defend ourselves in a war.” What the Iranians have said is, “we will wipe Israel off the face of the map, and we will bring death to America.”

When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God, you ought to take them seriously, and we need to take that seriously.

GOP Negotiations Are On Cruz Control

According to Ezra Klein:

One thing that’s gotten lost in the debate over the shutdown is how much Democrats have already conceded to Republicans on spending. This is partly the consequence of the direct spending cuts in the 2011 debt-ceiling deal and partly the consequence of sequestration (which was, of course, also part of the 2011 deal). Still, the bottom line is that Republicans have been so successful at making Obamacare concessions the issue that Democratic concessions on spending have gone almost unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Jedd Lugum of Think Progress tweets out what kind of “compromise” the Republicans are demanding from Obama.

On Cruz Control: Obamacare Not Halted by Gov’t Shutdown

Representative Ted Cruz has demonstrated his ability to cow Speaker John Boehner and shape the Republican agenda in the House of Representative. As intended, his grandstanding will shutdown the parts of the United States Government tonight at midnight, and raise Cruz’s prospects as poster boy for the Tea Party in the 2016 Republican primaries.

However, these theatrics and scary advertisements with a clown dressed up as Uncle Sam performing colonoscopies and gynecological exams will have no effect on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare” to some). The rollout of the insurance exchanges is mandated by law and will be unimpeded by the government shutdown.

Starting at midnight Americans around the country will have access to their state’s insurance exchanges, giving many Americans access to affordable healthcare for the first time, and giving the rest of us an important alternative.

Information on how Obamacare is working for millions of women after the jump.

Cruz Control: Does Obamacare = Holocaust?

Ted Cruz’s speech voicing his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare was “technically not a filibuster” according to CSPAN since he was not delaying action on a bill, but it was still a long speech. Perhaps too long. When you starting comparing your opponent to Nazi appeasers, you probably have run out of intelligent things to say.

If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, “Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.”

And in America there were voices that listened to that, I suspect those same pundits who say it can’t be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on TV and they would have been saying, “You cannot defeat the Germans.”

B’nai B’rith International comment after the jump.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement on the subject:

Nazi comparisons are never acceptable. No matter how one feels about this issue, or any issue, invoking Nazi imagery trivializes and undermines the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi machine.

Nazi references and comparisons dilute the horror of the mass genocide that was the Holocaust.

To compare a U.S. law to anything out of Nazi Germany is unacceptable. We call on Cruz to apologize.